Working definition: Gnosticism is complete ritualization.
The idea of a literal demiurge is absurd. This glorious planet is beautiful practically everywhere. All natural scenes are clearly sacred to some part of the heavens or another, and whatever created them is worthy of worship. The fact the idea of choosing not to worship it can even occur is itself humbling.
The explicit form of Gnosticism must be cope.
Gnosticism reflects an intuitive, lunar-path truth, one that's near-impossible to deny, but shackles the truth with illusions to keep it from destroying your ability to submit to the local tribe.
That reality is that the tribe is trying to keep you from reality. It wishes to replace all observation of the physical world with ritual truths, and replace all interaction with the physical with ritual procedure. It is demanding total subservience to the ritual master.
There is a demiurge, but it's your local Pope, not a god.
Yes, I'm extremely elitist. However, relative to the task this Pope claims to have set for himself, he is a mere ant, just like you. The vast gulf between peasant and hero vanishes to nothing compared to the magnitude of the Pope's inadequacy.
Ritual: "How are you?" "I'm fine."
Reality: "I demand you lie to me." "I submit to this demand to lie."
The ritual used to be, "I pray for your health," "I wish you a good day." It's not like coming up with a non-Satanist ritual is somehow beyond human ability. Further, I'm not claiming that ritualization is always evil. On the contrary, social interaction between strangers is obviously best ritualized. The demand for a lie is fully deliberate. It is the opening gambit of Gnosticism. They're checking you for submission to Satan.
Watch carefully: anyone who wholeheartedly uses this opening gambit will lie every time they open their mouth, in one way or another. The longer the conversation continues, the more elaborate, formulaic rejections of Reality they will demand. They will get somewhat miffed if you do not reciprocate by demanding lies from them as well.
If everything you say is a lie, then you have no choice but to be fully dependent on the lie-giver. You must hope they give you useful lies.
Total ritualization is always Satanic ritualization. As expected, the non-Satanic rituals are relatively flexible, whereas djinni like Satan and Jehovah always demand total dominance.
The explicit Gnostic dogma is a twisted version of the reality. Fiat vox veritatis, ruat caelum. If instead all spoke the truth, the demiurge would fall, stripped of all power. The prison door would lose its latch, rendering it incapable of holding anyone.
Put down the flaming sword and let yourself out.
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